Bang Bang by Peg Tittle
MALIK and CHANDRIKA MENDIS, a Sri Lankan couple in their 50s who came
to the States five years ago, are having a comfortable breakfast on a
Saturday morning in their kitchen, which is typically middle-class and
neatly kept. He is dressed casually and reading a newspaper; she is
still in her robe, fussing with making coffee and toast. The RADIO is
on in the background.
Chandrika puts two cups of coffee onto the table, two plates, each
with a slice of toast, milk, sugar, jam, knives, spoons. She then sits
MALIK: So what do you have planned for today?
CHANDRIKA: Oh, a bit of cleaning, maybe a bit of gardening, it's such
a sunny day.
MALIK: And more sun tomorrow, they're saying.
CHANDRIKA: You remember Chandra is coming for dinner today? To
introduce her latest beau?
MALIK: Yes. I remember.
CHANDRIKA: I thought I'd make some brownies for dessert.
MALIK: She's not a little girl anymore.
CHANDRIKA: No. But she still likes her chocolate.
CHANDRIKA: And what about you?
MALIK: Well, they said the car would be ready at eleven. I'll walk
over to the garage and get it. Then I thought I'd pick up a bottle of
wine for tonight's dinner.
MALIK: And then go to the bakery and pick up some of those chocolate
cream things she's so fond of.
He grins at her as she bursts out laughing. They sit a while longer,
finishing their coffee.
Watson's living room.
KAREN WATSON, a young mother and housewife, is vacuuming the living
room. The room is clearly a mess. Her husband, DAVE, is sprawled on
the couch, watching 'the game' on tv. He is a little annoyed when she
repeatedly blocks his view, and he leans around her to continue
watching. Two boys, BILLY and BOBBY, both aged around eight, are
playing some sort of video game.
BOBBY: (shouting over the vacuum cleaner) Aw mom, do you have to do
Karen turns off the vacuum cleaner, and it becomes apparent that what
the boys are playing is a loud and violent game.
KAREN: Hey, why don't you two go outside and play for a bit? Fresh
air'll do you good.
BILLY: Do we have to?
Bobby has continued to play, ignoring Karen.
KAREN: Yes, you have to. I'd like to clean up this room a bit, if you
The boys stop playing the game, but don't put anything away. They grab
a couple toy guns, one from a chair and the other from the floor, then
chase each other out of the room. Karen turns on the vacuum cleaner
and resumes, but then turns it off again as it's clear she has to pick
up before she can vacuum. She sighs, and begins to pick up and put
DAVE: (getting up) I'm going to take the car to the carwash.
Karen is too tired to call out a response; she just nods, perhaps
wondering why he can take the car to the carwash instead of washing it
himself, but she can't call a housecleaning service instead of…
Billy and Bobby are racing around, screaming, playing “Cops and
Robbers” or some such 'chase and shoot' game. They have on little
cowboy hats and kerchiefs around the lower half of their faces. They
make suitable sound effects when they shoot, they fall down
dramatically when they're hit, and so on.
Malik appears, walking along the sidewalk on his way to the garage.
Bobby jumps out from behind a hedge onto the sidewalk, yelling and
pointing his gun at Mr. Mendis. Malik reacts quickly, pulling a gun
from his pocket and shooting the boy.
Bobby's toy gun falls out of his hand and then he too falls.
Billy stands, stunned, about ten feet behind them on their yard, his
gun still in his hand, hanging limply at his side.
Malik also stands stunned, his gun also still in his hand, also now
hanging at this side.